After the Warriors 100-88 semi-easy handling of Utah, it is easy to surmise their days of hiccups against bad teams are over. Not so fast says Stephen Curry.
“It’s too early, it’s only 10 games,” he said after totaling 15 points, 11 assists and zero turnovers. “There’s still a lot of time to keep building our chemistry when it comes to finishing games. We’re a lot more experienced than we were last year, just going through those times where we couldn’t hold the lead. Hopefully we’re better at it, but still not proven yet. We’ve got to continue to stay focused in that area when it comes to finishing games.”
The Warriors didn’t fall for the trap game. Coming off the OKC thriller, they came out of the gates and handled Utah. They had a third-quarter lapse, to be sure, getting their lead cut to eight.
But one good run put away the lowly Jazz. That’s how its supposed to be, right?
The Warriors improved to 5-0 at home this season. They have now held a double-digit lead in all five of their home games, with three wire-to-wire victories, and have trailed for only a combined 15:28 thus far over their home slate.
“It’s something that is very important and I think we’ve handled it well,” David Lee said. “It’s something that we need to do to be a successful team and to reach where we want to reach in this regular season. So far we’ve ‘beaten the teams we’re supposed to beat’ and we’ve won games at home. Now we need to go on the road and do the same thing against a Jazz team that’s going to come back and want a little revenge, so we’ve got a tough task ahead of us in the next couple of days and we’re ready for it.”
More on Saturday’s victory…
Most Valuable Player (MVP)…
Andrew Bogut. Thompson provided the fireworks but Bogut led the Warriors’ dominance of the interior. Bogut finished with 12 points (5 of 7 shooting) and 11 rebounds with two blocks. The Jazz, whose limited strength is its frontline, was outplayed. The Warriors outscored Utah in the paint (46-32) and won the battle of the boards (42-32).
Most Disappointing Player (MDP) …
Harrison Barnes. His 5 of 10 shooting wasn’t awful. But the second unit coughed up a big chunk of the lead in the third quarter and he went scoreless in five minutes. What’s more, Richard Jefferson got the best of him, totaling 10 points and 3 assists in the third.
Utah was 10 of 16 from the free throw line on Saturday. But less key than the low percentage were the limited attempts — 12 fewer than OKC took, 34 fewer than the LA Clippers. The foul-prone Warriors committed 19 fouls and kept Utah off the line. It was the third time this season the Warriors attempted more free throws than its opponent.
AT LEAST WE LEARNED …
The Warriors can be self-starters. Coming off the thrilling, emotional win over Oklahoma City, the Jazz looked to be a trap game of sorts. The arena lacked energy. Utah, which came in 1-9, didn’t pose a reason for the Warriors to get up for the game. Still, Golden State came out with its foot on the gas.
The Jazz managed just 13 points on 33.3 percent shooting in the first quarter. The Warriors led by as much as 14 early.
“We have a winning mindset which is to take care of business at home,” Mark Jackson said. “Compete on the road and there are games that you should win on the road, but take care of business at home. The teams that have truly successful years, they take care of business at home. That’s the first thing to being a good team. We are learning that and hopefully will keep it going.”
KEY MOMENT 1 …
In the second quarter, Iguodala and Thompson got going from the outside. The Warriors led 32-21 with 8:37 left. Iguodala kicked off a run with a pull-up 3-pointer.
Thompson missed his 3 the next time down, but got his own rebound a set up a dunk for Iguodala.
After an Alec Burks layup, Thompson dropped in a 3. Marvin Williams answered with a 3-pointer for Utah, but the Warriors answered right back as Curry set up an Iguodala 3-pointer.
Williams hit another 3 but Thompson followed with his second in three possessions, putting the Warriors up 46-29 at the 5:19 mark.
At the 2:39 mark, Thompson’s third 3-pointer put the Warriors ahead 51-32.
WHAT HE SAID …
“My motto is we all eat. And I’m personally going to make sure he eats. Klay’s my man. He’s weird, but like a good weird. I like his weird. So I’m going to look out for him.” — Andre Iguodala on Klay Thompson
KEY MOMENT 2 …
The Warriors’ lead was 87-77 with 7:05 left in the fourth quarter. Golden State ran off seven straight, the first five by Thompson: a pull-up jumper then a 3-pointer. Curry followed by a driving finger roll from Curry to put Golden State up 94-77.
After a step-back jumper from Favors, Lee dropped in a runner out of the post. One stop later, Curry capped the 11-2 run with an alley-oop to Andrew Bogut. Ball game.
“When we have a big lead at the half, we’re still figuring out how to come out with aggression in the third quarter and not give them any life,” Curry said. “But to be able to come back from that, push the lead up and kind of win comfortable down the stretch, that’s a good sign.”
TRENDING TOPIC …
Curry didn’t have a good shooting night. But he did have 11 assists with no turnovers. He lived in the lane, using the high pick-and-roll and his deft ball-handling to break down the defense.
“He’s a top notch basketball player, a superstar player,” Jackson said. “I was never going to go crazy with the turnovers. He’s a guy that some nights he will turn the basketball over, can’t get carried away. He understands what he has to do in order for us to be successful and he’s done a much better job of taking care of the basketball. That approach and mentality is contagious and other guys are starting to be more cautious. We are so good offensively we can’t give away possessions.”
BEFORE YOU GO …
An MRI revealed Jermaine O’Neal has a bruised right knee and a minor right groin strain. He did not travel to Salt Lake City and is out for Monday’s game. He is officially day-to-day. The Warriors will probably call up Dewayne Dedmon from the D-League, as Yahoo! Sports first reported. Dedmon, who was among the final cuts of Warriors training camp, plays for the Santa Cruz Warriors.